quarta-feira, 17 de janeiro de 2018
François Pyrard de Laval (ca. 1578 – ca. 1623) was a French navigator who is remembered for a personal written account of his adventures in the Maldives Islands from 1602 to 1607, which was part of a ten-year sojourn (1601–1611) in South Asia, et al. He was a native of Laval, and was a cousin to theologian Pierre Pyrard (1581–1667).
On July 2, 1602 Pyrard and a handful of sailors were shipwrecked on South Maalhosmadulu Atoll of the Maldives. They were taken captive by the Maldivians and spent five years as "unwilling guests" on the islands, with most of the time spent on Malé. The sailors endured malaria and sporadic cruel treatment during their captivity. Nevertheless, Pyrard took pains to learn the local Dhivehi language and by doing so was able to achieve an insight into Maldivian society never before experienced by a European. He took extensive notes regarding Dhivehi culture, customs and history.
In February 1607, the Frenchmen escaped from Malé by boat in the midst of chaos during a Bengali raid. Shortly after his return to Laval in 1611, Pyrard published an account of his 1601–1611 sojourn.
terça-feira, 16 de janeiro de 2018
segunda-feira, 15 de janeiro de 2018
domingo, 14 de janeiro de 2018
The Summer House
Every autumn we leave something of ourselves
in the summer house. For two days we straighten things up,
then we give in, tossing our junk into
drawers and cupboards, lock the door and walk away
from the house that lies now like a hushed beacon
We come back a few times in the winter
breaking into the dozing locked-down space
breathy in the membranous light. There is the cry of a bird
and faint smells of the lake in the hallway,
the vibrant light of the sea
washing steps, these things dream their own life
encased in a sun-warmed sheath of shadows
projected in restive images over the walls and roof
The last one to lock up must have left his shadow
somewhere behind the blind, dark, doomed roads
And the spaces we left behind us resemble in our memories,
the whispering sweep of the sea. High-ceilinged skies
like the day spring arrives and we open the locked door
knowing the spring’s own summer, its puffs of wind
gusting towards us
(translation: Gordon Walmsley)
sábado, 13 de janeiro de 2018
I managed to wriggle on my trousers and made it clear that I needed to visit a certain place. They showed me through a narrow door into a tiny garden plot with exceptionally big tomatoes, and with walls so tall that nobody could peep over. There I was handed a heavy iron crowbar that stood waiting for the visitors. I caught on, and ran a hole into the ground: one deep and narrow toilet per person per visit. No wonder the size of those tomatoes!